Back in December last year (2013) I decided to give up smoking … yet again. Don’t get me wrong, giving up the wicked weed is easy. So easy that I’ve done it hundreds of times now, but this time I wanted a method that would ensure that I stayed off of the coffin nails for good.
I have tried virtually everything over the years; cold turkey, gum, nicotine gum, patches, inhalators and even Champix (which for some reason is known as Chantix in the USA). They all worked for a while. I gave up about 8 years ago for three years after using the patches but I stupidly succumbed again.
Champix is great. It blocks the nicotine receptors in the brain and even trying a cigarette is pointless as you get no hit from the nicotine, just a nasty taste but of course it only works while you take it and you only get a prescription for 3-6 months. The result is that you go back to the smokes again. Well I did anyway.
So what could I do? I decided to try vaping. Vaping is the inhalation of flavoured vapours using some kind of heating device such as an ecigarette. The benefits for someone trying to quit is that A) You have something to do with your hands and B) the vapour you inhale is free of most of the nasties in tobacco cigarettes such as tar/carbon monoxide/formaldehyde etc. They do of course contain nicotine but you can vary the amounts even going down to 0% nicotine free, which is my aim. But be aware that some of the flavoured ejuices, particularly creamy flavors contain food flavourings which can irritate your lungs along with triglycerides. They may also contain Diacetal, especially the buttery flavoured juices. It is safe in foodstuffs but can cause Bronchiolitis Obliterans (Popcorn lung) when inhaled. Beware. There is a handy little link here that explains more.
There are many types of Ecigarettes and this blog is about my experiences. Follow my advice and you might save yourself lots of hassle and certainly lots of cash. Vaping CAN work out expensive when you are unsure of it.
FIRSTLY. E cigarettes such as NJoy, Blu etc.
I started on these. You can buy these at most stores and they do have their uses. I bought one before I travelled to the USA. You can’t use them on the flight but you can at the terminals so they are handy for that. You can buy disposable ones (as I did for my flight) or you can get versions where you can replace the cartridges and recharge the batteries. All of these are OK I suppose if you are an occasional smoker or a cigarette smoker who needs a quick puff where you are not allowed to smoke. Try them but I found them relatively expensive although cheaper than tobacco cigarettes, and kind of weak. They do feel like a normal cigarette in your hand though.
I tried Finiti which are sold by Walgreens in the USA. About $20 for a kit with a charger and 3 cartridges. You can buy refills. I wasn’t pleased with this model so I tried some from Westside Vapor. These were better but I still found them unsatisfying. I needed something else.
SECONDLY. Vaporizers that use clearomisers/atomizers etc.
These are a little more advanced than the Ecigarettes and you will find lots of options. I haven’t tried them all but I have tried many versions.
I started with a small Criss Cross unit. It comes with a small rechargeable battery which I found too small. I was constantly recharging it although you can buy bigger batteries online at hundreds of sites. I believe the Criss Cross battery was a 650mah unit. Unless you are a very light smoker you will need either spares or at least a 1000mah unit (mah = milliampere hours). I suppose the Criss Cross is a good intro to vaping at only $14.99 but I was soon dissatisfied. Criss Cross e juices I found to be very nice though.
Next I tried a Kanger eVod. These are a lot better than the Ecigarettes. I bought a kit from a vape store here in Columbus for about $25. The battery was better although it still needed charging at least once per day, often twice and so I bought a spare battery. I must mention here that all the batteries I have seen have a button on the side. You use this to turn them on and off (5 quick clicks for either) or to vape. You hold the button as you draw and a pretty little light tells you it is working. My spare battery also has 5 small lights on the tip which tell you of the battery condition. Can’t tell you the make though as I don’t know and it isn’t branded. You can charge your batteries either with a usb connection or a mains adaptor. Be warned though, they take hours to charge from empty. There are many kinds of batteries on the market. With some you can even vary the wattage and resistance. I haven’t tried those yet.
You can refill the eVod tanks although it can be messy. You can also change the coils which work out about $2 each. They last about 2 weeks although it does depend on usage. Also don’t allow them to get too low on ejuice. They can burn out if dry.
THE TROUBLE WITH EVOD TANKS
Initially I was happy with my eVod from Kanger Tech but they still seemed a little weak sometimes particularly if the battery wasn’t fully charged. Also I soon noticed that they do have a tendency to leak. I tried all the tips on different sites but none seem to work. You get a horrible gurgling sound then ejuice in your mouth. You will also find the battery has about a dollars’ worth of your juice in it. Such a waste. I think it is a design flaw as they all do it. They are also messy to clean which means wasting ejuice too.
Next I went back to clearomisers with a wick in them. I’ve tried a few with wicks and the new Aspire CE5+ which is wickless. It cures the leaking problem but still I find them hard work. Lots of draw for little reward.
A quick piece about tanks. Some like the Kanger eVod have their coils at the bottom. They do have a tiny wick but it is very small. These are called bottom coil clearomisers. Others like the Aspire CE range have top coils with a long wick which hangs down inside the tank to absorb the ejuice. These are called obviously top coil clearomisers. There are also newer clearomisers like the CE5+ which have a bottom coil and no visible wick. They all work on the same principles. If you use any clearomisers remember to allow time for the juice to reach the coil before use when you top up. Remember a dry coil will burn out in no time at all. Also try to refill them before they get less than a third full.
FINALLY Double Coils.
At last. Double coils. My savior. I recently purchased an Aspire Vivi Nova Clearomizer. These are the new ones with a DOUBLE bottom coil. They are wickless. They tick just about every box for me. The dual coil gives lot more vape. Clouds of vapour and great taste too. I have been using mine for a week now. It is still running at full blast on the original coil and NO leaks. It is easy to fill and not messy. It looks good too although you will also need to buy a ‘beauty ring’ to fit nicely on your standard batteries although it will work without one. It is a large tank holding 3.5ml of smoke juice (my previous tanks hold about 1.6 ml so you don’t have to top up so often. I have just bought a Vivi Nova Mini with the same double coil set up but a smaller capacity. I am looking forward to trying it out. You can find both online for about $7-$8 and the replacement Aspire double coils are about $11 for 5 so not even that expensive. The beauty rings are only a couple of bucks and you only need one or two.
Beware though. There are still lots of the cheaper Aspire Top Single Coil wicked tanks online. Make sure you specify the Bottom Double Coil newer version in the Nova or Nova Mini. They are only a couple of bucks more too. DON’T get the old kit even if it does look like a bargain.
A WORD ABOUT BATTERIES
Batteries are the engine room of your vaping experience. Mine have been ok but I have noticed some very cheap ones on eBay. Probably best to avoid them. Expect to pay upwards of $15 for a decent 1100mah battery. They last well and I haven’t had a flat one yet. Just remember to get a spare as they take hours to charge. You can buy the aforementioned variable power batteries. I haven’t tried one yet.
OR… get yourself a pass-through battery like mine. If you hunt around you will find one for not much more than a normal battery. A pass-through is just a normal battery but you can unscrew the tip and connect it via its usb connection to a charger or to your computer. That means you can use it while it is plugged in and charging up. Handy if you are by the computer a lot or near a power point or even in the car if you have a usb power adaptor. If you need to go out then just unplug it, put the end cap on and you have a fully charged normal battery. Make sure you get one with plenty of power lead. Excellent kit.
TO SUM UP.
After much trial and error I have found this to be the best combination so far for hassle free vaping.
Aspire Vivi Nova Bottom Double Coil Tank.
Aspire Bottom Double Replacement Coils
1100mah or larger pass-through battery
Any good 1100mah battery as a spare.
You will have to check these out yourself. There are plenty of stores online and off that supply it. I am currently using Vista Vapors juice which is OK as you can vary the amount of juice flavour as well as the nicotine strength. Juices normally come in 32/24/18/12/6/0mg of nicotine. I am led to believe that domestic juice is best and to avoid the imported Chinese juices. I haven’t tried imports so I can’t comment on that. Read my note at the top about Buttery/Creamy flavours causing some people lung irritation and be aware. I personally prefer the fruit flavours but that is merely my choice. You can buy all sorts of strange flavours such as bacon flavour or Banana Nut Bread. Try some out till you find the ones you like. Some sites will even sell you a sample pack of different flavours. Also just buy small bottles at first till you know you like it. There’s no point being stuck with 30ml+ bottles of a juice you don’t like. I did that with a Whiskey flavoured juice which is yucky. I still use it but I mix it with other flavours so save wasting it. And don’t forget that you can mix them to make a kind of vape cocktail. I have a strawberry juice that I sometimes mix with my vanilla ice cream juice. Very tasty.
My experiences with vaping have been interesting if trying at times and I hope you find my observations useful. I am still a novice in some ways as there are plenty of other types of vaping equipment out there which I haven’t tried some of which will cost you hundreds of dollars.
My observations are from the perspective of a former twenty a day man. If you only smoke occasionally you may be better off with just the NJoy type Ecigarettes.
It’s been 6 months now since I had a tobacco cigarette bar one small slip up and I find I don’t miss those old tar sticks too much. As I said I do intend to get down to the zero nicotine juices eventually but right now I am on the 12mg juices (about one third of max strength) so my next step is the lowest strength of 6mg. I will keep you updated.
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